Bushido - a problematic concept

This term was hardly used until Nitobe Inazo wrote "Bushido, The Soul of Japan" in 1899. He was a young scholar who had studied in USA and Germany, spending much of his life outside Japan. Although from a samurai family, he actually knew little of Japanese history, and today the book is criticised for being a romantic projection of Christian values onto Japanese culture. Nitobe had a clear view of what he wanted bushido to be. He thought himself that he had invented the term.

The word is used today to mean "the way of the samurai/warrior" (see writeups above), but a good portion of misunderstanding and myth is associated with it. It is not clearly defined, and as previously mentioned, it was not used in the time it is meant to originate from. It is to great extent a word used in Western countries.

Sources/furhter reading:
Kobukai Oslo, the dojo I am a member in
"The Historical Foundations of Bushido", http://www.koryubooks.com/library/kfriday2.html
"Nitobe Inazo and Bushido", http://www.jef.or.jp/en/jti/200201_022.html
"A look at the life of Inazo Nitobe", http://members.tripod.com/~choisai/writings/inazo.html